Barry Glassman

Barry Glassman
  • Republican
  • Age: 56
  • Residence: Darlington

About Barry Glassman

Education

Graduated Harford County Public Schools Washington College, Bachelor of Arts - Political Science

Background

Retired Claims Specialist, Baltimore Gas and Electric Company; Former County Councilman, State Delegate, State Senator, current 2nd VP of Maryland Association of Counties and part-time sheep farmer.

Questionnaire

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1
Glassman record
What do you consider the greatest accomplishments and failings of the Glassman administration?
Glassman: I am pleased that my fiscal plan for the County has been our biggest accomplishment. When I came into office three and a half years ago the County’s debt load had tripled, the fund balance had been drawn down to less than $7 million dollars and teachers, deputies and county workers had not received raises for as many as 6 years. Through our efficiency efforts and economic development, we have reversed that and this year our fund balance is back to $18 million dollars, debt load increase has been leveled, and 90% of our new revenue went to restoration of pay scales for our public employees. We have maintained our AAA bond rating, funded our OPEB obligations at 100% and adopted the county’s first 20% property tax credit for senior citizens and retired military. One area I have not been satisfied with is our efforts to transfer technology jobs from Aberdeen Proving Ground to outside the gate into the private sector. This is partly due to Congress’ failure to pass a budget, however; due to the recent federal budget action and funding for this type transfer, I have already received a letter of intent from the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences center for a location outside the gate in Harford County. I hope to announce this additive manufacturing initiative prior this fall thus reaching this still outstanding goal.
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2
Taxes
Does Harford County have adequate resources to meet its needs, particularly in the funding of public schools and law enforcement?
Glassman: Yes, we can meet our needs without raising taxes by operating efficiently and sequencing large capital projects. In fact, I am proud that we have budgeted $24 million over the past three years to restore salaries each year for our teachers, law enforcement and dedicated county employees, without increasing tax rates. After a pause to get the county’s debt down to more responsible levels, we are also about to break ground on a planned modernization of Havre de Grace Middle/High School. However, we are seeking our fair share of resources from the state. For example, we provided an additional $15 million in operating funding to our public schools over the last three years, while state funding increased by only $1 million. So we are advocating for changes to the state funding formulas that tend to underfund rural/suburban counties. Lastly, as vice-president of the Maryland Association of Counties, I am pleased that we successfully lobbied my former colleagues in the Maryland General Assembly for additional Highway User Revenue to fix local roads. The state collects this revenue and returns a portion to the counties. But under the prior state administration, the local share was cut to balance the state budget. Harford County will combine this new revenue with the $16 million in county funding already dedicated during my administration to repair and maintain local roads. I have been endorsed by Harford County’s Teachers, Deputies and Correctional Officers.
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3
Land use
Have the county’s land use policies adequately balanced growth and the preservation of existing communities and agricultural land?
Glassman: To achieve this balance for a better quality of life, we are encouraging higher quality development projects while expanding our agricultural preservation programs. For example, we created a mixed-use Magnolia Overlay District with increased county oversight of project design, and my upcoming budget will set a record of $22 million for agricultural preservation. This is in addition to our plan to reduce the pressure to expand the development envelope in the Churchville/Creswell area with incentives to preserve adjacent agricultural land. This area is also the subject of an upcoming study to help ensure that future growth is well coordinated and supported by infrastructure. Countywide, we recently completed HarfordNEXT, our county master plan, and a required comprehensive zoning review. Throughout these processes, we used technology to promote transparency and encourage citizen engagement. In fact, our Comprehensive Zoning Review Tracker won a national award for innovation from the National Association of Counties. HarfordNEXT is now in the implementation phase, which includes the county’s first green infrastructure plan. Citizens can follow these implementations on the county website at www.harfordcountymd.gov.
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4
Opioids
How do you rate the county’s efforts to fight opioid addiction overdoses? What else, if anything, should the county be doing to combat the epidemic?
Glassman: With our location on the I-95 corridor, Harford County has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic and the deadly additives fentanyl and carfentanil. Nationwide, many people who became addicted are still suffering. In part, this is because opioids rewire the brain in ways that make recovery very difficult, but not impossible. Locally, we’re seeing signs of progress in prevention, especially among our youth, and we have been working to raise awareness and fund treatment. I began by calling out this public health crisis in my December 2014 inaugural address. Since then we have developed a multi-faceted approach that won a national award. Our efforts include training for 90 peer recovery coaches; Project Healthy Delivery to help pregnant women stay in treatment; community forums including the former U.S. surgeon general; the original play “Addicted”; our Night of Conversation reaching more than 70,000 families in 2017, and public service announcements featuring local youth. We show these PSAs in local movie theaters because research indicates that peer to peer messaging is effective. In all, our media campaign including billboards has received over 4.3 million impressions. To help fund these efforts, my first budget included the first-ever county funding for treatment and prevention starting at $200K and rising to $250K annually, which has been leveraged to over $1 million by my outstanding team in Community Services and our Office of Drug Control Policy. We will continue to help those who are afflicted and their families to break free of this terrible disease.
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5
Sherrif's office
How would you characterize the relationship between the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and the communities it serves? Are any reforms necessary?
Glassman: In Harford County, the voters elect the sheriff and the sheriff’s office is not under the control of county government. However, my administration has worked closely with local law enforcement, most recently on our plan to have a school resource officer assigned in all of our public middle schools, in addition to our existing program in all county high schools.
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6
Fire/EMS
The Glassman administration is trying to lead Harford County’s formerly all-volunteer fire and emergency medical services to more a professional organization with more paid personnel. How do you rate the county’s effort and what should have or could have done differently in this controversial transformation?
Glassman: I understood that there would be challenges, having grown up in the volunteer fire service – I was an EMT with the Level VFC and a member of the MSFA Hall of Fame. But as county executive, I am responsible for ensuring that we maintain high quality emergency care, even as public demand rises and volunteerism declines in the face of increased training requirements. We first engaged the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security for a study to involve stakeholders and provide a neutral analysis of current practices and future needs. We then moved into the first phase of implementation. Rather than rush in, we are proceeding methodically to help us gain experience and make necessary adjustments. We hired a dedicated medical director to oversee patient care and then we staffed the first county-owned “surge” ambulance that began operations in January. This team of paramedics is available 247 countywide to meet surges in demand, and complements services now provided by volunteer fire companies and the Harford County Fire and EMS Foundation. Helping to guide the process is my EMS Standards Advisory Board. I appointed this volunteer board of subject-matter experts, including a representative from the volunteer services, which meets publicly and reports to my director of Emergency Services. I am satisfied with our progress so far, although there will always be growing pains. I try to focus on our ultimate goal of upholding Harford County’s tradition of delivering high quality care when our citizens need us most.
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